Sunday, July 31, 2011

Life Without Madame M.

Madam M. appeared on our porch almost exactly one year ago. She was a bit shy and skittish, but seemed to enjoy her comfortable life with us. She played with her companion, slept in our bed, and was as picky as on the first day when we tried to give a large prawn which she rejected with disgust.

It has been a week now since she disappeared without a trace. Suddenly the place seems somehow empty. 

Agent Orange is missing her just as much as we do. No one to play with. No one to groom. No one to tease. No one to fight with... He seems to be much quieter now and does not eat as much as he did when she was around.

It is unbearably hot out there and probably not quite easy to find food or water and we hope that she is all right. She is a very smart cat and really a good hunter. I must admit, I was amazed when I first saw her hunting. She would spot a lizard and chase it with the speed of light. 

We accept her freedom to chose, and yet, we feel quite awful to know that she abandoned us.

We hope, of course, that she will come back one day...

Dominique Allmon


She is back! Two weeks later! As if nothing had happened! Can anyone get used to this? I guess normally we would not worry, but there are predators all year round and she looks like a tasty morsel

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Let Them Eat Peas!

President Obama and the Political Spiel
"It's not going to get easier. It's going to get harder. So we might as well do it now: pull off the Band-Aid, eat our peas. Now is the time to do it. If not now, when?" - President Barack Obama 

President Obama warned the Republican leaders that they risked tipping the world back into a recession and throwing "millions of more people out of work" unless they could reach a deal with him on increasing the US's debt. More than once he warned that if the debt ceiling is not raised there will not be enough money to pay the seniors and the military, forgetting that having a debt means, by definition, that there is not enough money to pay the bills! 

The November 2010 mid-term election ended with a Republican victory. The voters clearly demonstrated their sentiments. Among others, they voted for a smaller government and for more fiscal responsibility.

Smaller government means less spending. Less spending means, among others, drastic cuts to inefficient social programs and reduction of the overblown bureaucracy which should involve closing down of useless governmental agencies and administrative reconstruction of the remaining ones.

In November 2010, President admitted that the election was a "shellacking" and took responsibility for his party's loss, saying that "in the rush to get things done, they forgot to make good on their promise to change the way Washington works". He refused, however, to acknowledge that the election was a direct repudiation of his own policies. 

A new era has began in Congress and things were supposed to get better, but in reality, they didn't. President did not present his budget for the fiscal year 2011 and continued on his spending spree joking that the shovel ready jobs weren't that shovel ready and entering a third war without a Congressional approval. Only a few weeks ago a new federal agency was created in times when people demand a smaller government! But, of course! The new agency is badly needed for the protection of the consumers. To finance it, the consumers will have to pay for it with their own tax money, even if there seems not to be enough of it. Blame the rich!

While it hurts to watch that so much money is being wasted, President Obama insists that his stimulus did not work because not enough money was spent to make things work right in the first place, and continues to blame the previous administration and the "millionaires and billionaires" for the state of US economy. The rich do not pay their fare share in taxes! Things must change, but unfortunately, the intransigent Republicans would rather let the seniors and the poor starve, than agree on raising taxes for the rich. The Republicans, on the other hand, demand drastic budgetary cuts insisting that there is no revenue problem, but rather a spending problem. And while the President has yet to present his own budget  plan, the GOP offered more than one solution to the government's financial problems. 

For months the debate went on and on without any result whatsoever. If the House accepted a proposed plan at all, the Senate would dismiss it. The Republicans, especially the Tea Party fraction, rejected tax hikes, refused to rise the debt ceiling, and postulated drastic cuts to the existing domestic programs. Moreover, they proposed a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that would require a balanced budget every year regardless of the state of the economy. But the majority of the Democrats rejected such "insane" ideas. They insist that the  debt ceiling must be raised and extended beyond the 2013 if the US want to avoid a default and the government shutdown. Taxes for the rich must go up. And the amendment to the Constitution must be dismissed as it is an unwise if not a dangerous idea. 

The debt debate would have been almost farcical if things weren't so serious. The government  reminds us of a junkie who insists that the only way to recover from addiction is to increase the dose. The more he gets the better... until he eventually collapses from the overdose. But the doctors cannot agree on the solution. While the cruel ones insist that the only way to save the guy is to immediately cut off the supply, the goodhearted ones plead that in order to ease his suffering more stuff is needed.

President Obama insists that the Republicans want to carry out the fiscal reforms on the backs of the poor and needy Americans - the "ordinary folks who are struggling every day". 

In Obama's words:

"They’re mad at Democrats and they’re mad at Republicans, because they know somehow, no matter how hard they work, they don’t seem to be able to keep up. And what they’re looking for is somebody who’s willing to look out for them. That’s all they’re looking for. And for us not to be keeping those folks in mind every single day when we’re up here, for us to be more worried about what some funder says, or some talk radio show host says, or what some columnist says, or what pledge we signed back when we were trying to run, or worrying about having a primary fight - for us to be thinking in those terms instead of thinking about those folks is inexcusable."

This is an interesting statement. A statement that was completely overlooked by the media. Who cares about the campaign promises! Who cares about the public opinion! The poor are poor because the rich are too rich. Something has to change! This is what he, Obama, was elected for! Unfortunately the Constitution-wielding Republicans are spoiling the fun.

The truth is, the US needs an austerity plan. The national debt increases daily an average  $3,8 billion. Each citizen carries a rising share of the more than $14,3 trillion. As of today, the national debt is approximately $46,131.50 per capita and will be carried over to the next generations, a prospect that the Tea Party Republicans deeply abhor. And yet, a compromise has to be made if the government wants to avoid a stalemate. 

The Congress is running out of time and the solution is badly needed, but in Washington the discourse is taking yet another dimension. The Republican party appears to be split on the debt issue. The Tea Party freshmen adhere to the promises they made to their constituents and refuse to accept the "weak" position taken by the Republicans. They are being criticized by the Democrats and by some Republicans. The media even compared the Tea Party to Hezbollah and accused it of holding the entire nation hostage. The lack of civility is appalling and deeply saddening.

The debt ceiling will, most probably, go up. So will, inevitably, the taxes. In order to achieve any form of balance, serious budgetary cuts have to be made. But before the government begins closing down schools in America, it should reconsider its nation-building policies in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Priorities have to be redefined if the country is to recover from the current economic crisis.

By Dominique Allmon ©2011

President Obama's quote source here

Friday, July 29, 2011

Healing Properties of Creedite

Creedite is a rare calcium aluminium sulfate fluoro hydroxide mineral that usually forms from the oxidation of fluorite ore deposits. It occurs mostly on fluorite-calcite-quartz matrix.

Creedite was named after Creede Quadrangle, Mineral county in Colorado, where it was first discovered in 1916. It was also found in Nevada, Arizona, California, and Mexico. There are also some deposits in Bolivia, China, as well as in Kazahstan and Tajikistan. 

It forms monoclinic prismatic crystals that may resemble sharp blades or needles clustered together. The crystals may be either colorless or white, pale to dark orange, pinkish or violet, either translucent or transparent.

It is believed that creedite helps align the upper chakras, especially the throat and the crown chakras, and expand awareness. This allows an undisturbed access to higher realms and a better expression of one's own spirituality. The gem may also help facilitate connection and improve communication with others.

Creedite crystals emanate high vibrations and can be used for channeling. They help verbalize and render the transmitted messages with utmost clarity. 

Creedite also aides meditation. It creates clarity of the mind and helps cut through intellectual obstacles. It promotes spiritual growth and helps expand awareness. It may help develop the ability to move between different levels of consciousness.

Occasionally, creedite is used to facilitate the out of body experiences and the transition to the realm of Light. 

Creedite crystals can be used to enhance vibrational energy of spaces and to increase the creativity and productivity at work. 

Creedite has the potential to increase one's level of vibration and to expand the energy field. The increased energy flow in the meridians may help speed healing and detoxification. 

Because of its aluminium content, creedite should not be used in crystal elixirs or ingested in any other form. 

By Dominique Allmon


*This information is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease. 

Creative Commons License
Healing Properties of Creedite by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Requiem for Norway

In memory of all those who perished in a senseless attack

Fields of Stone

Moon shadows as a blanket sewn
Over yet another who's come home
Only to be left there on their own
Beneath fields of stone.

Heads bowed o'er a star bannered box
Then silence breaks with rifle shots
As taps sound out I stand and watch
From fields of stone.

A mother's loving heart's cut deep
Sisters cling to them and weep
Their fallen tears begin to seep
Into fields of stone.

In father's eyes are wars of past
All had hoped they'd seen the last
Still moonlight weaves a blanket fast
Over fields of stone.

Now paths of life seem so steep
As they leave loved ones there to sleep
Knowing some day again they'll meet
Above fields of stone.

By Don Lewis 

Image source here

Moon Among the Stars

Those who conquer the earth, teeming with beings,
Kings and priests who scurry around sacrificing
They surely do not partake in even a sixteenth part
Of the heart well developed in loving kindness
Shining like the moon among all the crowd of stars.

Itivuttaka Sutta

The full moon shining brightly against a background of stars is a common image in early Buddhist poetry. We do well to remember that observing such a scene 2,500 years ago in a sparsely populated rural area well after all lamps have been extinguished would have been a far different experience than the modern urban dweller casually glancing up and happening to notice the moon. Even today, if we have the opportunity to camp out in the desert or sail well out to sea on a small boat, we are staggered to see just how many stars inhabit the night sky and how bright is their cumulative light.

Somehow in ancient India they came up with the equation that the full moon was sixteen times as bright as the entire background of stars put together, and this is the image used in this verse to point to the value of loving kindness. Yes, there are many people scurrying around in the world engaging in this and that enterprise or affair, and in the Buddha’s time kings and priests were considered to be at the pinnacle of society and thus absorbed in matters of great importance. But as the Buddha so often hints elsewhere, what you are doing is far less important than the quality of heart with which you are doing it.

So even if you are engaged in very important work - people are depending upon you, you are counteracting the many injustices in this world, you are helping people in need - the value of that work diminishes sixteen-fold if you are not engaging in it with a heart of loving kindness. Conversely, even if you are not doing something very important in the working world, sitting quietly and developing the benevolent intention that all beings be happy, safe, and free from harm, you may well be doing something sixteen times more important than that wealthy, famous, powerful person who seems to have it all.

One way you might think of working with this idea in practice is to put aside at least one sixteenth of your time and attention and devote it to cultivating kindness. Perhaps you practice mettā meditation one hour of each 16-hour waking day, or make a point of being especially kind to every sixteenth person you serve or come across at work, or spend a day in silent practice for every sixteen days spent on other pursuits. Or perhaps you can just use the full moon as a reminder each month of what is of most value in this world: we are engaged in a countless sky-full of little events throughout out lives, but let’s see if we can have them all illuminated by the bright full moon of our loving kindness for one another.


Article source here
Image source unknown but greatly appreciated

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Contact

Right here and now, one quanta away, there is raging a universe of active intelligence that is transhuman, hyperdimensional, and extremely alien... What is driving religious feeling today is a wish for contact with this other universe. - Terence McKenna


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Space Shuttle Atlantis Last Landing - End of an Era

Space Shuttle Atlantis makes its last landing at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, July 21, 2011

Space Shuttle Atlantis makes its last landing at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida today, July 21, 2011. The landing marks the end of NASA's thirty year long space shuttle program.

Atlantis made thirty three flights, carried 191 space astronauts, spent 307 days in orbit, circled Earth 4,848 times and put, 125,935,769 miles on its odometer. 

Unlike Discovery and Endeavour, Atlantis will remain in Florida. It will be displayed at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

To watch the final landing please click here

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

First Man on the Moon

Neil Armstrong on the surface of the Moon, July 20, 1969
 Neil Armstrong on the surface of the Moon, July 20, 1969

Forty two years ago, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on the surface of the Moon. This historic moment was viewed by millions of people all over the world. 

Everything began in 1961 when John F. Kennedy was the president of the United States. He wanted to land humans on the Moon. But was NASA ready to go to the Moon? The president and NASA knew they could do it. 

Apollo 11 blasted off on July 16, 1969. Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Michael Collins were the astronauts on Apollo 11. Four days later, on July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon. They landed on the moon in the Lunar Module. It was called the Eagle. Collins stayed in the orbit around the moon. He did experiments and took photographs.

Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the surface of the Moon for three hours. They performed various experiments  and took samples of the moon dirt and some rocks. They left an American flag on the Moon and a sign that read "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind."

The two astronauts returned to orbit, joining Collins. On July 24, 1969, all three astronauts landed safely on Earth. 

Article source NASA 


Monday, July 18, 2011

Dreaming and Consciousness

The Stuff that Dreams are made of by John Anster Fitzgerald, 1858
The Stuff that Dreams are made of by John Anster Fitzgerald, 1858

By Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D.

Whether awake or asleep, our consciousness functions as a model of the world constructed by the brain from the best available sources of information. During waking conditions, this model is derived primarily from sensory input, which provides the most current information about present circumstances, and secondarily from contextual and motivational information. While we sleep, very little sensory input is available, so the world model we experience is constructed from what remains, contextual information from our lives, that is, expectations derived from past experience, and motivations (e.g., wishes, as Freud observed, but also fears). As a result, the content of our dreams is largely determined by what we fear, hope for, and expect.

From this perspective, dreaming can be viewed as the special case of perception without the constraints of external sensory input. Conversely, perception can be viewed as the special case of dreaming constrained by sensory input. Whichever way one looks at it, understanding dreaming is central to understanding consciousness. 

Theories of consciousness that do not account for dreaming must be regarded as incomplete, and theories that are contradicted by the findings of phenomenological and psycho-physiological studies on dreaming must be wrong. For example, the behaviorist assumption that "the brain is stimulated always and only from the outside by a sense organ process" cannot explain dreams; likewise, for the assumption that consciousness is the direct or exclusive product of sensory input. 

Dreaming experience is commonly viewed as qualitatively distinct from waking experience. Dreams are often believed to be characterized by lack of reflection and inability to act deliberately and with intention. However, this view has not been based on equivalent measurements of waking and dreaming state experiences. To achieve equivalence, it is necessary to evaluate waking experience retrospectively, in the same way that dreams are evaluated. In a recent study of this type, we found that compared to waking experiences, dreaming was more likely to contain public self consciousness and emotion, and less likely to contain deliberate choice. But it is notable that significant differences between dreaming and waking were not evident for other cognitive activities, and none of the measured cognitive functions were typically absent or rare in dreams. In particular, nearly identical levels of reflection were reported in both states. 

Although we are not usually explicitly aware of the fact that we are dreaming while we are dreaming, at times a remarkable exception occurs, and we become reflective enough to become conscious that we are dreaming. During such "lucid" dreams it is possible to freely remember the circumstances of waking life, to think clearly, and to act deliberately upon reflection or in accordance with plans decided upon before sleep, all while experiencing a dream world that seems vividly real. A series of studies to be summarized demonstrates that lucid dreamers can remember to perform predetermined actions and signal to the laboratory, allowing the derivation of precise psycho-physiological correlations and the methodical testing of hypotheses regarding consciousness in sleep.  


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Quote of the Day

 Inferno - Gustave Doré
The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great crisis maintain their neutrality. - Dante Alighieri "Comedia divina - Inferno"

Image source here 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sex on the Moon

Moon rocks!
In 2002, Thad Roberts, a 25-year-old student stole 17 pounds of moon rocks from the Johnson Space Center in Houston to impress his Texan girlfriend.

By Larry Lebovitz

As he is portrayed in Ben Mezrich’s latest book, the fascinating protagonist - an excommunicated Mormon disowned by his family for having pre-marital sex - in Sex on the Moon possesses a dangerous and sometimes hilarious combination of characteristics: A brilliant scientific mind, boundless ambition, limited self-esteem and an underdeveloped moral compass.

When Thad Roberts arrives in Houston for a prestigious NASA fellowship, he becomes the life of the party, the ring leading intern willing to take the biggest risks and who organizes the coolest outdoor adventures. Much to Roberts’ own astonishment, big-brained, hot-bodied wannabe astronaut chicks dig him, and guys want to be like him.

Roberts finds the attention exhilarating. By 25, his long-distance marriage to his childhood sweetheart is essentially over when Roberts falls hard for a 22-year-old biologist in the NASA program. A few lusty weeks later, Roberts decides to prove his love by literally giving her the moon - or, more accurately, stealing a 600-pound safe filled with samples from all six Apollo moon landings...
"Enthralling read for anyone who ever dreamed about being an astronaut, or promised to give someone else the moon." - Malissa Kent

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Joyeux 14 Juillet France!

Today the French celebrate their national holiday - the 14 Juillet - which is also known as the Bastille Day.

This holiday commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which took place on July 14, 1789 and marked the beginning of the French Revolution.

The Bastille was a prison and a symbol of the absolute and arbitrary power of Louis XVI’s regime. By capturing this symbol, the people signaled that the king’s power was no longer absolute: power should be based on the nation and be limited by a separation of powers.

Although the Bastille only held seven prisoners at the time of its capture, the storming of the prison was a symbol of liberty and the fight against oppression for all French citizens; like the Tricolore flag, it symbolized the Republic’s three ideals: Liberté, égalité, fraternité for all French citizens. It marked the end of absolute monarchy, the birth of the sovereign nation, and, eventually, the creation of the First Republic, in 1792. 

For a century, the day of July 14 was not given special attention. It truly became a national holiday in 1880, under the Third Republic, at Benjamin Raspail’s recommendation. The celebration was meant to help shape a new national image, around the republican symbol. Under the draft law put forth by Raspail and passed by the National Assembly, Bastille Day officially became the symbol of the birth of the Republic.

The day is generally celebrated with all sorts of festivities and ceremonies all over France. But the flagship event of the celebration is the military parade held on the morning of July 14, on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris. Being first held in 1880, this is the oldest and largest regular military parade in the world and a highly popular event in France, being broadcast on TV every year. The parade passes down the Champs-Elysées from l’Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde where the President of the French Republic, his government and foreign ambassadors stand. In some years, invited detachments of foreign troops take part in the parade and foreign statesmen attend as guests.

Article source here

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Beauty of Numbers

To be an engineer, and build a marvelous machine, and to see the beauty of its operation is as valid an experience of beauty as a mathematician's absorption in a wondrous theorem. One is not "more" beautiful than the other. To see a space shuttle standing on the launch pad, the vented gases escaping, and witness the thunderous blast-off as it climbs heavenward on a pillar of flame - this is beauty. Yet it is a prime example of applied mathematics. -  Calvin C. Clawson Mathematical Mysteries: The Beauty and Magic of Numbers


Monday, July 11, 2011

The Truth About Roswell

Late for abduction?

Greatest cover-up ever!

For the first time since the alleged 1947 UFO crash near Roswell, NM, government officials are disclosing the truth about the event. It might be shocking to you, but the UFO never crashed near Roswell! Everything you have ever known about the Roswell Incident was simply a government cover-up. 

The UFO did crash in 1947, but it was in Colorado. People who witnessed the crash in the San Luis Valley disappeared without a trace.

To divert public interest from the site of the crash, responsible government agencies simply created a plausible myth and chose a far-away-in-the-middle-of-nowhere Roswell, NM, as the perfect spot to divert attention of the unsuspecting crowds. False information about the crash was disseminated as a maneuver to cover up the real events. Thus, the Roswell Incident was created, to a great dismay of the inhabitants of this quiet New Mexican town.

This would also explain the abundance of UFO sightings in Colorado and the incredible luck of such in New Mexico.

The people of Roswell always knew that there was no such thing as the UFO crash in the New Mexican desert, but no one really paid attention to what they said. Instead, conspiracy theories were formulated to explain the alleged government cover-op.

Now, more than half a century later, we are finally learning the truth about this 1947 UFO crash. We still need to find out what really happened to the captured crew of the space ship.

 The Roswell citizens are officially relieved from the embarrassing duty of holding the Annual Alien Parades. After a mediocre act in 2010, no such parade took place this year. The few remaining gift stores on Main Street will go out of business in no time and the town will be able to reclaim its South-Western charm.

By Dominique Allmon

Image source abducted by aliens


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The Truth About Roswell by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Nikola Tesla

 Nikola Tesla (July 10, 1856 – January 7, 1943) reading while a Tesla coil discharged millions of volts, 1899

Nicola Tesla was an American scientist and inventor of Serbian origin. He was probably one of the most enigmatic personalities and without doubt, one of the greatest minds of the 20th century. He not only discovered the rotating magnetic field, but was a pioneer in the field of robotics, computers, and the missile technology. 

Tesla was a dreamer and a visionary with a poetic touch and almost unbound creativity and talent. Admired by some and despised by others, Tesla allowed himself only a few close friends. Among them were the writers Robert Underwood Johnson, Mark Twain, and Francis Marion Crawford. He was quite impractical in financial matters and an eccentric, driven by compulsions and a progressive germ phobia. But in spite of that, he had a way of intuitively sensing hidden scientific secrets and employing his inventive talent to prove his hypotheses. 

Tesla was a perfect subject for reporters who sought sensational copy, but a problem to editors who were uncertain how seriously his futuristic prophecies should be regarded. Caustic criticism greeted his speculations concerning communication with other planets, his assertions that he could split the Earth like an apple, and his claim of having invented a death ray capable of destroying 10,000 airplanes at a distance of 250 miles (400 kilometers). 

After Tesla's death, a custodian of alien property impounded his coffers, which contained Tesla's scientific papers, his diplomas and other honors, his personal correspondence, and the laboratory notes. 

Three Nobel Prize recipients attributed their scientific success to "one of the most outstanding intellects of the world who paved the way for many of the technological developments of modern times." 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Atlantis - The Final Flight of the Space Shuttle Program

Space shuttle Atlantis at the launch pad 39A. Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral - July 7, 2011.

Space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to liftoff today, July 8 on its final flight, STS-135, a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. The liftoff will mark the end of the 30-year old space shuttle program.

Atlantis will carry a crew of four and the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module containing supplies and spare parts for the space station. The STS-135 astronauts are: Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim. 

The final U.S. space shuttle flight may, however, be postponed due to thunderstorms, but according to NASA officials the countdown was still under way hours before the scheduled launch.

We wish the entire team best of luck for this historic mission. And of course, good weather for the liftoff!

Article source NASA
Image by Chip Somodevilla
Image source here

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Power of Celebration

People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state - it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle… Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one’s actions. - Abraham Joshua Heschel in The Wisdom of Heschel

Image source here

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

American Angel by Catherine Lane

Home of the Brave

Through the feel of war they brave this day
How proud they stand, their unselfish way 

Our soldiers bear what we cannot see
They assure our right to live life free 

Each trained will face an unknown fate
Our support they need, don’t hesitate 

Just imagine how this land would be
Without their courage - catastrophe 

All the liberties we have grown to know
Would not exist, this life would go 

Find a thankfulness within your mind
Speak gratitude for our bravest kind 

Have the willingness to show you care
For fallen heroes, hold back no tear 

Reach out to God with his guiding light
For our troops do pray, both day and night 

America raise your flags to wave
For we truly are 'home of the brave'

by Roger Robicheau 

Image source unknown but greatly appreciated

Friday, July 1, 2011

Brigitte Carnochan's Floating World

 Send a Message by Brigitte Carnochan

Allusions to poems by Japanese women of the 7th-20th Centuries
"While rummaging through a used book store in Princeton, New Jersey, I discovered a volume of haiku and tanka translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ikuko Atsumi in 1977. The poems were by Japanese women from the 7th through the 20th centuries and represent all the major styles during this period - from the Classical to Contemporary schools. I was immediately drawn to the poems, and as I read them - so allusive and rich in imagery - I knew that I wanted to make their photographic equivalents." - Brigitte Carnochan

The Floating World refers to the conception of a world as evanescent, impermanent, of fleeting beauty and divorced from the responsibilities of the mundane, everyday world. For the poets in this volume (whose names are calligraphed in each image) that world centered on love - longing for love and the beloved, mourning lost love, pondering its mystery. The beauty of the natural world - its flowers, landscape, the moon, and the changing seasons - serves as the primary metaphor.
Images of this series are printed on uncoated handmade Japanese Kozo or mulberry paper using archival Epson Ultrachrome pigment inks. The Japanese calligraphy was executed by Richard Man.

Immigrating to America from Germany with her family at the age of six, Brigitte fell in love with ballet, hoping to pursue a career as a professional dancer. In the real world, she first became a high school teacher then a university English teacher, and later worked in university development. Photography is her third career. She began working seriously in the medium twelve year ago, using friends from her dance classes as models. She has remained a dancer: “Dance provides me with models as well as therapy.”

She is also an avid gardener, which supplies her with many of her floral subjects. However, it is her hand coloring on traditional silver gelatin prints that she makes herself, that has captured the worldwide respect for her images. “Even though most people see the world in color, they do not see everything in the same exact colors. From an optical point of view, the colors we see depend on where we stand in relation to the object, where the sun is on the horizon, what color the walls are, or the tint of our glasses (or contact lenses), and so on. From a psychological point of view - everything depends on whether we are worried, elated, anxious, in love, lonely, distracted, or fully alert. For this reason, I often hand color my work, because the process allows me to interpret the essence of my subject according to my own imagination.”

Brigitte lives in Portola Valley, California, a town located in the coastal hills south of San Francisco. Her work has been exhibited in over two dozen individual and group shows across the country. Teaching workshops and giving university lectures has been a regular part of her life for the past decade. She is the recipient of numerous awards and is currently a board member of the Santa Fe Center for Photography.

Brigitte Carnochan's works can be viewed until July 11, 2011, at The Iris Gallery of Fine Art Photography in Boston, MA.

Brigitte Carnochan "Three Portfolios"  
May 31 till July 11, 2011
129 Newburry St.
Boston, MA